STOCKTON, California — Ramona Torrez says not a day goes by that she does not think about her son, Henry Torrez Jr., who was killed 27 years ago.
Then 21-year-old Henry Torrez Jr. was shot in the back and killed in 1991 while hanging out with friends in the parking lot of a North Stockton bar, known then as The Breakaway.
His case is one of the more than 500 unsolved murders in San Joaquin County highlighted in The San Joaquin County Grand Jury report released Monday.
The report "Cold Cases in San Joaquin County: On the Back Burner" shows major findings across the area, including 12 homicide victims whose remains have never been positively identified.
According to the report, "the exact number of cold case homicides is unknown due to the lack of a consistent 'cold case' definition and the lack of a digitized tracking system."
The Grand Jury report also said how cold case homicide investigations "rarely result in case closure, arrest or prosecution." Additionally, the report mentioned how funding is an issue to hire more detectives and resources to solve cold cases.
Recommendation from the Grand Jury included the following:
- The San Joaquin County Sheriff hire at least three full-time detectives and the San Joaquin County District Attorney hire at least two full-time investigators solely for cold cases no later than December 31, 2019.
- The Stockton Police Department hire two full-time detectives dedicated solely to cold cases also by the end of the year.
- The San Joaquin County District Attorney establish a Cold Case Task Force no later than March 31, 2020.
- Each law enforcement agency expand their definition of "cold case' to include missing persons with suspicious circumstances and sexual assault by no later than March 31, 2020.
"The police department just received the grand jury report. We are currently reviewing their recommendations and will provide a response back to them," the Stockton Police Department said in a statement.
"If them bringing in the FBI and other programs to help that's great," said Torrez. "You know, there's so many cases, not just the one's you hear of now."